Iranian Quds Commander Qasem Soleimani, PMF Deputy Leader Killed in Baghdad Airport Attack – Updates

Iraq’s Shia Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) said on Friday that several members of the militia as well as several “ guests” were killed by rocket fire near the Baghdad International Airport.

Iraqi state-run media said Friday that the deputy head of the PMF, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force unit, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani were killed in the incident.

Al Arabiya and Sky News broadcasters also echoed reports of Soleimani’s death. There has been no official confirmation issued by Tehran of IRGC.

According to earlier media reports, the killed people were in two vehicles that were leaving the airport late on Thursday. The projectiles are reportedly said to have hit the facilities of the Iraqi army and the international coalition. According to Al-Sumaria broadcaster, the strike also injured at least 12 Iraqi servicemen and killed a civilian.

The PMF blamed the US and Israel for the deadly airstrike.

“The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani”, spokesman for the PMF Ahmed al-Assadi said, cited by Reuters.

According to US officials, cited by Reuters on the condition of anonymity, the Thursday strikes were carried out against two targets linked to Iran in Baghdad.

Earlier in the day, the PMF – that is reportedly responsible for the recent siege of the US Embassy in Baghdad – confirmed its senior official in charge of public relations, Mohammed Jabiri, was also killed in the incident.

The situation in Iraq escalated on Tuesday when Shia protesters attempted to storm the gates of the US Embassy in Baghdad following airstrikes on an Iran-backed unit of Kataib Hezbollah operating in the country. The strikes were carried out in response to an attack at a Kirkuk base that killed a US contractor.

[above reporting via Sputnik]

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